City Hall Photo: Benjamin Kabak/Flickr

Most New Yorkers are aware of the abandoned City Hall station and some may have even caught a glimpse of it. Officially closed in 1945, riders of the 6 train ending at Brooklyn Bridge can still peek at its frozen-in-time beauty from the loop the train takes to reach the uptown local track.

But City Hall station isn’t the only forgotten piece of the city’s transit history.

Joseph Brennan is the Lead Email Systems Engineer at Columbia University Information Technology and he’s also established himself as a New York City subway historian. In 2001, he began documenting NYC public transit’s abandoned, defunct, and forgotten remnants.

On his webpage, Brennan has compiled photographs, illustrations, maps, plans, and diagrams of entire stations, levels, platforms, uncompleted work, trolleys, and elevated stations.

One gem that is still partially visible to the public is the 14th Street station on the 456 line. The platform was extended in 1910, obscuring an underground walkway. Brennan explains the hidden beauty in the station:

14 Street Photo: columbia.edu

“The black grill hides something now occupying much of the platform space. Above it, notice the open space, which is an open passageway connecting to other subway stations nearby. In it is the exhibit of wall decoration, visible from the platform.”

14 Street Photo: columbia.edu

Brennan also explored an abandoned lower level of 42nd Street, a west side 91st Street station, and a never-completed Grand Central shuttle.

He also makes maps of the NYC subway on his blog, War of Yesterday.

Follow @bbhnyc for more surprising history of New York City infrastructure.

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